Friday, January 13, 2023
3:00 PM EST
Chapel of Covenant Living
2510 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
1 (616) 259-0408
Visitation from 2 PM until start of the service.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Habitat for Humanity
Association of Blind and Visually Impaired
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Bill VanDop lived a very active life well into his later years. Blessed with an abundant and loving family, he relished his role as a husband, father, and grandfather. Generous beyond measure, there simply wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for his family or a friend in need. Bill leaves behind a rich collection of memories for his special friends and loved ones to cherish forever.
The era of the 1920s was a stable economic time in history until the market crash of 1929. With the media focused on jazz music and the entertainment business, William was born the fifth of seven children to, William and Tena (Byl) VanDop, immigrants from the Netherlands, on July 20, 1926, in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. When Bill was three years old, his father passed away, leaving his mother to care for the children.
When Bill was 12, his mother sent him to live with his oldest brother, Abraham, in Spring Lake. During his time with his brother, he was able to help him with the daily chores on his muck farm. He graduated with the Class of 1944 from Grand Haven High School. Later that fall, he was drafted into the United States Army. Bill served two years in the military. Scheduled to head to Europe, a case of pneumonia altered those plans, and Bill was later sent to the Philippines, where he served as an MP. Bill said that the military service was a turning point, as it provided him with so many opportunities later in life.
After he was discharged in 1946, he was able to use the GI bill to attend college at Ferris Institute where he earned a degree in accounting. Not to be forgotten was the meeting in February of 1947 of Yvonne White, who would change the course of his life forever. They agreed to a blind date to the movies with his older brother, Adrian, and the rest was history! They dated for three years while each completed their educations. They married on April 11, 1950, at Covenant Reformed Church in Muskegon. For several years, they lived in apartments around the Muskegon area. Eventually establishing a home in nearby Norton Shores, together they would have 72 years of exceptional marriage and raise three wonderful children; Richard, Martha, and Leslie.
As a family, they made many happy memories together. Strong in their faith, the family held devotions and said daily prayers after supper. Summers were spent in their station wagon with their pop-up camper, traveling all over the country. A highlight of these vacations was their six-week trip touring the western U.S. Bill was fortunate to work for the IRS and have flexible vacation time to make such special trips. They used their resources wisely to save up for these vacations and always made them a priority.
Richard fondly remembers getting a paper route and Bill expecting (and getting) a free paper! Above all else, they instilled in their children to live a life of faith, to take advantage of every opportunity, and to stay close to their family.
In 1973, Bill transferred to the Grand Rapids IRS field office, eventually moving the family to Rosalie NW. He retired from government service in 1979, and having successfully earned his CPA certification, he became self-employed. He and Yvonne became members of Central Reformed Church, where they would spend many years. During retirement, Bill and Yvonne enjoyed traveling and camping, including a ten-week trip to Alaska. They would later go back and visit a second time with his brother, Hank, and his wife.
Bill also enjoyed listening to Tiger Baseball and watching the Detroit Lions. For relaxation, Bill enjoyed golfing during the warmer months of the year. The golf course provided him with time to connect with others as well as enjoy the outdoors. An avid reader, he also took up woodworking once he moved to Covenant Living of Great Lakes in 2004. During his years there, he built bookshelves for the developing library and even a desk for himself! He was active in the creation and development of Second Blessings Thrift Shop and was proud of its support of the Covenant Benevolent Fund. An inspiring experience was the Honor Flight he took with his son, Richard, to Washington D.C. in 2015.
Although Bill was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 40, he never let his illness limit his life. He managed the disease for a remarkable fifty-six years with a positive outlook on the many blessings he had in life. Among these blessings were his children and their growing families. He and Yvonne absolutely loved each and every one of them. Bill lived his life with integrity and faithfulness. Committed to his family as well as his church community, Bill leaves a wonderful legacy of unconditional love. May his loved ones often reflect on the fierce love he held for each and every one of them and may his memories be eternal.
Mr. William VanDop, age 96, of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away on January 5, 2023. He was preceded in death by his 7 siblings and one granddaughter, Amanda Van Popering. Bill is survived by his wife, Yvonne; children, Richard (Beverly) VanDop, Martha Greenfield, and Leslie Crockett; 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at 3 PM on Friday, January 13, 2023, in the chapel of Covenant Living of the Great Lakes, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, with visitation from 2 PM until the start of the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Habitat for Humanity, Association for the Blind, or American Diabetes Association. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory photo or to sign the guestbook.